Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday, lost a tough three-game battle to Delhi. But four of their players, the Indian Express reported, took to the court barefoot.

Six of the 12 players, Andhra coach Koteshwar Rao told Indian Express, couldn’t afford shoes.

“These boys hail from poor villages and cannot afford shoes. If they had spent money on shoes, they would have been left with nothing back home. Most of these players are children of fishermen and cannot afford these basic things,” Rao said.

“We played the game without thinking too much about what we don’t have. We were given some socks by the organisers. These boys are fighters.”

After defeating heavyweights Tamil Nadu, another upset win for Andhra over Delhi wasn’t ruled out. But the team lost 21-25, 19-25, 16-25.

While a couple of them managed to borrow a pair from rival players, Rao couldn’t find a perfect fit for three players, the report said.

Meanwhile, Haryana wrestlers carried their state to the top of the medals tally at the end of the fifth day’s competition in the first Khelo India School Games. Seven of their eight medals of the day came from wrestling as the northern state now have 52 medals with 20 gold, 16 silver and an equal number of bronze medals.

Delhi with 16 gold medals, 18 silvers and 24 bronze medals are in second position followed by Maharashtra with 47 medals which includes 16 golds.

(With inputs from PTI)